…of the Blogosphere: Glenn Reynolds remembers.
Cable news…past and future
The Golden Age of Substack. Basically, a revitalization of long-form blogging.
Earth Day as a formal religious holiday? (It strikes me that this fits right in with energy secretary Granholm’s call for electrification of all military vehicles by 2030. This is so disconnected from any military or technical rationale that it can only be religiously motivated)
Absence of maternal warmth in childhood has some serious long-term implications.
Aerospace is one of the deepest branches of humanity’s technological tree. It is a telling fact that more countries have produced a nuclear bomb than mass-produced a jet engine. Recent history illustrates how hard it is to build these capabilities.
Black Powder. Still militarily important, though as an initiator for more-powerful explosives rather than as a primary explosive in its own right. The US was dependent on one.single.factory to manufacture this substance. It blew up.
Much like the way a differential equation can summarize the properties of a pendulum, fictional literature abstracts, summarizes, and compresses complex human relations by selecting only the most relevant elements. This abstracted level of comprehension also enables one to see how these principles apply elsewhere and how they may be generalized…Like mathematics, narrative clarifies understandings of certain generalizable principles that underlie an important aspect of human experience, namely intended human action.
Allen R. Dodd, Jr.’s The Job Hunter is the flip-side of “Mad Men”. This is what the world of 1960′s advertising–of the white-collar workplace in general–looks like from the outside looking in. Subtitled “The Diary of a ‘Lost’ Year,” The Job Hunter began as an article in the 30 November 1962 issue Printer’s Ink–at the time one of the leading trade journals of the advertising business. Although Dodd acknowledges in his introduction that his first-person narrator is “a composite figure, a typical white-collar job-seeker, created from a variety of sources,” he fully succeeds in creating a believable character from what could easily be a stereotype of one of John Cheever’s middle-aged train-catching commuters.
“It’s going to be tough on the company, of course, but the last thing in the world we’d want to do is to stand in your way,” Dodd’s nameless narrator is told one July afternoon by one of his higher-ups in a mid-sized ad firm. And so he is evicted from the world of the working and left to find another position, a process that takes him the better part of a year. Although many of the practical aspects of job-hunting have changed–Dodd’s narrator has little else besides the help wanted ads and a few business directories to go on–The Job Hunter is very effective in conveying the sense of being a social outcast that inevitably clings to a man without a job, particularly a white-collar professional.
Also from The Neglected Books Page:
In 1939, Rollo Walter Brown was 59, a former Harvard professor of literature, a popular lecturer, and a dangerous man. In I Travel by Train, he recalls some of his many trips across the United States through the depths of the Depression. His work as a lecturer on literature, politics, and history took him to all corners of the country, from San Francisco to New Orleans and Atlanta, from the industrial towns of Michigan and Ohio to the Dust Bowl of Oklahoma and north Texas. Wherever he went, he made a point of venturing out and trying to understand what was going on and why.
Check out the utterly charming drawings accompanying the I Travel by Train post. Graphic novels are not such a new concept, it turns out….